Tag Archives: bone marrow biopsy

Everything’s coming up roses

Yesterday’s knitting and crochet should have ended up looking like the rose tea cosy I made last year. And it did last night but not so much after I inadvertently put it in the washing machine this morning on a synthetics cycle. ‘I’ll just bob it in with the baby jacket and crochet blanket’ I thought and in my haste I neglected to register that it was wool. What was odd though was that the roses, which were pure wool, didn’t felt as much as the cosy body. I don’t know whether the fact that they were crocheted had anything to do with this or not.

I should have included something to show the scale but needless to say a very small teapot now would be required.  As it was to be a late Christmas present I’ll need to redo it. I initially thought about cutting the roses off and knitting another base but couldn’t find the right colour as I’d used the last of the green. So I ended up deciding on a whole new colour scheme.

I claimed my bed at the Royal this afternoon (or yesterday afternoon as it is now since dialysis was a bit delayed meaning I’ve only just been hooked up to the two bags of chemotherapy goodies) after B had cooked us a nice lunch. He’d asked me on Tuesday to ask about the results of the bone marrow biopsy but I’d forgotten plus as I said to him I didn’t know if the dialysis unit would have been able to access them or indeed interpret them if the findings weren’t straight forward. When we saw one of the junior doctors earlier B reminded me that I hadn’t asked so I said I would when she came back. I forgot again but not to be put off B asked instead. She said that she couldn’t let us know but she would get one of the registrars to go through them with us.

Later one of the registers popped in and went through the treatment plan and then got to the results of the biopsy. As we knew the aspirate sample wasn’t any use and it turned out that the trephine was smaller than the ideal length of 2cm but results had been obtained from this.

Now bearing in mind that the sample could have been taken from a low plasma point in the bone marrow, but which had been 90% in November, and it could be higher in other places there was nothing! Yes, NOTHING. Well he did say it would be classed as 1% and I believe, if memory serves me right, that for myeloma to be diagnosed from a bone marrow biopsy it needs to be above 6%. I’ll be getting another one after this cycle of DT-PACE to confirm the results but basically if it was this level somewhere it wasn’t going to be as high as 90% anywhere else. Another test was also done with regard to clones and I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with this, and can’t repeat it in detail as the other result was just sinking in, but apparently there weren’t enough cells to do this which was good. He said if they had run the test on a new patient and got these results there would be no reason to consider redoing them.

Like last time I asked B if he was glad he asked and this time he was. I suppose it was like an early birthday present for him.

How to live a long life

It’s okay we can all breath a sign of relief – this morning I discovered the means to a long life.  Since we got back off our hols I have managed to take Bud on a new longer walk daily.  It’s a circular walk and our turnaround point is the local cemetery.  WHAT?  It’s nice, it’s treey and there’s taps so since the weather has been hot/hot and muggy Bud can get a refreshing drink of tap water without me having to lug a bottle with us.

It also provides a liberal splashing of entertainment as there are squirrels and yesterday we saw a bunny rabbit.  Bud chases these, if he’s not too hot.  It’s okay he doesn’t chase them in an ‘I’d like to rip your furry little tail of way’.  He chases them in a small boy in the middle of town chasing a flock of pigeons kind of way.  You must have seen it.  A boy about four or five (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a girl do it now I think about it) spots a whole bunch of pigeons on the ground, he runs towards them unsure what they are going to do and when they start to fly off he runs that bit further so the rest  of them take to the air. He’s doesn’t reach out to catch them he just enjoys making them move.  Bud is just like this.  He doesn’t chase the squirrels at speed he just kind of ambles towards them until they move – I seriously don’t know what he’d do if one just stood it’s ground!  Last week he chased one and it ran up a tree and without a moment’s hesitation (as in the usual sniffing, pausing, sniffing) he cocked his leg up and wee’d on the tree – that’ll show that squirrel.

Our walk back takes us across a narrow path between two fields of crops, some sort of wheat, barley, oats – I don’t know what exactly.  I recognise sprouts and carrots in some of the other fields we pass by but with regard to arable crops well, that’s the extent of my knowledge, I know the word arable.  Actually today on our way back there were two guys on the edge of the one of the fields.  I initially thought they were farm staff seeing if the crop was ready to harvest but after a while I began to suspect this wasn’t the case. I’m pretty sure such checking doesn’t involve standing there in Bermuda shorts and a bright YELLOW shirt or tank top, smoking and looking shifty while stuffing handfuls of crop into a Wyndsors* carrier bag, then walking past every farmyard nearby and continuing on to the main road.  (* cheap shoe shop)

Yesterday it was hot, clammy and extremely overcast after rain in the early hours.  We were walking along a path which is slightly odd in that the fields either side start and finish off level but have a significant change in levels in-between.  The crops start at mid thigh level, on me, and then reach my waist on one side and ankle on the other.  Well Bud yesterday was tearing along the path which although three feet wide has about a foot of actual walking space.  Bud’s done this before in the wet, I think he must like the feel of the wet grass or something.  So there he is back and forward, to and fro – if he ran that fast after squirrels we might find out what he’d do if he caught one.  He veered to the left and then tipped over the side and ended up for about a nanosecond scrambling in mid air then regained his footing (only a teensy bit of crop was harmed) and took off again – vroom!  It was so funny.

Anyhoo, back to the point this morning I was thinking about this Friday’s hospital appointment which should include the result of the bone marrow biopsy and the cytogenetics (I’m unsure how long exactly these take, I think about 30 days).  I have to admit this has been playing on my mind a little.  My appointment is at 9:30 which is a bit early for B and would mean he only gets two hours sleep.  I tried to get another time but the central appointments line wouldn’t change it for me and I have to admit I forgot to ask at the day unit last Friday (hey, it’s not been on my mind ALL the time and B was regaling a fellow patient with my driving history).  A friend has said she’ll come with me (for the day out of course) and after mentioning it to B this morning he basically doesn’t mind.  The news will be the same whether he is there for not and he can phone me when he wakes up.  Not vice versa I can’t ring him or that would defeat the object of him staying at home – apparently!  Anyhoo I was contemplating the appointment as I was strolling through the cemetery past a row of headstones.  I stopped as some part of my mind registered that a few of the headstones all had the same engraving at the top.  I went back and stood in front of the five matching stones and this is what I noted.

There were 26 names into total – two of the occupants were in their 60’s, three in their 70’s and the rest were 80’s or 90’s – so that’s 80% over 80.  Now I have no idea how this compares with regular figures but it seems pretty high to me.  So, listen carefully now, here is how we manage this – WE BECOME MONKS!  Now I appreciate this may be easier for some of us than others but it looks like it’s worth it don’t you think!

Plus you get to pick a new name.  The gravestones included both the brothers’ religious name (I nearly typed monky name) and their original names and here’s my favourite ever monk’s name – although you have to appreciate I don’t know many so it might not be a good one but here it is anyway…


Fortunately there was no-one about to hear me.